London, Feb 18 IANS | 10 months ago

Does your infant has an increased urge to eat in response to the sight or smell of nice food? Get alerted as this may lead to obesity later.

A heartier appetite is linked to more rapid infant growth and to genetic predisposition to obesity, says research.

Weight gain is linked to two key aspects of appetite, namely lower satiety responsiveness - a reduced urge to eat in response to internal 'fullness' signals - and higher food responsiveness.

The study reveals that infants with a heartier appetite grew more rapidly up to age 15 months, potentially putting them at increased risk for obesity.

"These findings are extremely powerful because we were comparing children of the same age and same sex growing up in the same family in order to reveal the role that appetite plays in infant growth," explained professor Jane Wardle, lead author of the study from the Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London.

It might make life easy to have a baby with a hearty appetite but as she grows up, parents may need to be alert for tendencies to be somewhat over-responsive to food cues in the environment, or somewhat unresponsive to fullness.

Appetite, particularly low satiety responsiveness, acts as one of the mechanisms underlying genetic predisposition to obesity, said another paper from University College London.

Satiety sensitivity could be targeted for pharmacological and behavioural interventions to prevent or treat obesity.

For example, children with lower satiety sensitivity could be taught techniques that might improve their fullness signals when eating, such as slowing their eating speed, said the paper published in JAMA Pediatrics.

(Posted on 18-02-2014)

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